Edmonton Meals on Wheels (EMOW) is a local registered charitable organization that provides home-delivered meals, food services, and social connections to a diverse mix of the city’s citizens. Food is at the heart of what we do. Effective January 1, 2023, EMOW is increasing meal fee rates to clients due to marked increases in food and utility costs since the last major price increase (pre-2003). While food is essential to the work that we do, the fee for service must aptly reflect expenses and build the foundation towards a sustainable business model to continue serving our clients.
FAQ about the Client Meal Fee Increase
Q: Why is a meal fee increase necessary, especially when the price of everything else is already on the rise?
A: Like the average consumer, Edmonton Meals on Wheels has felt the pressure of the ongoing rise utility and food costs. Meal fees have been maintained at a consistent level over the last 20 years, and has absorbed the significant rising costs until now. Meals on Wheels cannot continue to provide healthy, nutritious foods while maintaining current pricing levels. We’re not willing to sacrifice the fresh, quality ingredients that our clients expect from us. Measured price increases must be implemented so that the organization can continue to be a sustainable not-for-profit focused on providing food and connection to our clients. Until now, Edmonton Meals on Wheels’ pricing was lower than similar services across the country. Going forward, the new meal fee structure will be comparable to these other organizations.
Q: Is Meals on Wheels a charitable organization? Why do meal fees need to increase if volunteers and donations support the organization?
A: Yes, Edmonton Meals on Wheels is a charity however to ensure reliability of services, the organization does operate as a business procuring/preparing quality product with a core of paid staff. All monetary donations received help Meals on Wheels keep client fees down.
More than 97% of food is purchased from vendors. The remaining 3% is donated by our community during our annual Grow-A-Row campaign or through charitable agency partnerships and by our suppliers during holiday events to ensure that our clients have special seasonal meals to enjoy!
EMOW has professional office and kitchen staff who lead this great organization. Our team works directly with our large complement of kitchen and delivery drivers to ensure thorough planning and adherence to business processes and legislative requirements. That said, EMOW couldn’t do what we do in our community without the committed and energetic volunteers who offer essential front-line support.
Q: When will the meal fee change go into effect?
A: Edmonton Meals on Wheels is committed to providing significant notice about the meal fee increase, that is why focused communication began in November. Actual price increases will not be implemented until January 1, 2023.
Q: Given this meal fee increase, I’m concerned that I won’t be able to pay for my meals. What do I do?
A: Meals and Wheels is committed to providing meals and social connection to our clients. Feeling like you don’t have the money to afford to eat is a very difficult situation. Please contact our Client Services team at 780.429.2020 to see if you qualify for our meal subsidy. Our professional staff can also provide you with options to structure your meal service to save money while meeting your needs. Beyond the supports that we can offer, Edmonton’s Food Bank has a comprehensive summary of services in our city that can offer support. See their summary of resources at https://www.edmontonsfoodbank.com/need-help/workshops-collectives/
The updated Meal Fees for our programs are as follows
If you have any unanswered concerns or questions please contact either:
Sonja Zacharko - Executive Director
Terry Tobin - Fund Development & Community Engagement Manager